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CBP announces end to family separations based on border prosecutions

  1. Original Date Announced

    June 21, 2018

    CBP states that it has begun taking steps to implement EO 13841: Affording Congress the Opportunity To Address Family Separation, by suspending widespread use of family separation. [ID #333]

    CBP Statement on Implementing the President's Executive Order Affording Congress the Opportunity to Address Family Separation
  2. Effective Date

    June 21, 2018
  4. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    May 28, 2021

    2021.05.28 Reported from The Hill: "DHS formally bans family separations for illicit border crossings"

    Reported: This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    The Hill reports that on May 28, 2021, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller issued a memo to the heads of Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations formally banning the separation of children from their parents or guardians due to illegal entry convictions and prohibiting their referral for prosecution solely on the grounds of illegal entry. The memo added a national security exception, allowing parents to be referred for prosecution for illegal entry "with the approval of higher ranking officials and local counsel," according to The Hill. Miller's new guidance is meant to clarify the 2018 court order mandating reunification of separated families in Ms. L. v. ICE (S.D. Cal. 3:18-cv-00428).

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Current Status

Partially in effect

Most Recent Action

May 28, 2021 Action: Modified 2021.05.28 Reported from The Hill: "DHS formally bans family separations for illicit border crossings"
May 28, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Border
Agencies Affected: CBP ICE EOIR ORR DOD

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • June 15, 2018

    Under Attorney General Sessions' "zero tolerance" policy of detaining and prosecuting all undocumented individuals, the AG directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for illegal entry. Children whose parents were referred for prosecution were placed with the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

    DHS Fact Sheet: Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions - Families

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